Resource Use

ACR+ re-elects Iain Gulland as president

Iain Gulland, CEO of Zero Waste Scotland, has been re-elected as president of the Association of Cities and Regions for Sustainable Resource Management (ACR+), an international network of cities and regions aiming to make circularity and climate neutrality a reality. An image of Iain Gulland

With more than 25 years’ experience in sustainable resource management, notably as CEO of Zero Waste Scotland delivering the Scottish Government’s circular economy strategy and other low-carbon policy priorities, Gulland is at the forefront of efforts to create a resource efficient, circular economy.

Gulland’s tenure has been extended for another two years, during which time he will continue to work with the 14 members of the ACR+ Board and its Brussels Secretariat team for a further two years to push forward the circular economy objectives of the association.

Gulland said: “I am delighted and proud to be re-elected President of ACR+. Now more than ever the planet needs action to tackle climate change and build back better after the global pandemic, and ACR+ has proven to be an extremely effective network for members to share and collaborate on the delivery of practical actions on the ground to reduce waste and accelerate the circular economy.”

Gulland’s re-election took place at the General Assembly of the ACR+ this week, which was originally meant to be hosted in Edinburgh by Zero Waste Scotland but moved online due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was attended by 90 members, with some joining from outside of Europe.

Gulland added: “Our aim needs to be about developing our leadership role further in the shift to the circular economy across Europe and beyond, through showcasing the art of the possible and providing practical support to many more regions and municipalities so they too have the confidence to adopt new approaches to reducing waste and meeting wider climate change targets.”

The Assembly also welcomed new elected members from different parts of Europe to the ACR+ Board of Directors to preside until June 2022. These included: the cities of Genoa, Odense, Porto Metropolitan area (LIPOR), SERIT – Servizi per l'igiene del territorio (Verona), The Hague, as well as Province of Fryslân, Autonomous Region of Sardinia, Arnhem-Nijmegen region, Brussels region, Catalonia (ARC), Eastern-Midlands Region (EMRWO), Pays de la Loire region,  Zero Waste Scotland and Wasteserv Malta.

Speaking on the geographical breadth of the new members Francoise Bonnet, ACR+ Secretary General, said: “Not only it gives a new dynamic to our network and strengthens our local anchor, but it also exemplifies the necessary collaboration between front-runners and those at the beginning of their journey to achieve circular economy. It is also a timely reminder that a strong cohesion is needed at European level if we want to walk together towards a green future.”

Last year, the organisation launched the ‘More circularity, less carbon’ campaign for the network’s 25th year anniversary. Its focus after the Covid-19 pandemic centres on establishing a Green New Deal in the centre of European politics for the upcoming years.

Last month, the European Commission released the Recovery Plan for Europe in light of the Covid-19 pandemic reestablishing existing commitments to a circular economy transition. Forming part of the European Green Deal, which sets out to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, the Circular Economy Action plan published in March was praised by the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) as the ‘most ambitious and comprehensive proposal ever put forward’.

Zero Waste Scotland has recently published a five-step net zero plan to assist other forward-thinking businesses hoping to address their carbon impact, in line with the Scottish Government’s objectives to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2045, building upon its website launched last year to encourage businesses to be more circular.

You can read more about ACR+ on its website.